Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Pew Center on Global Climate Change

A new environmental impact report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1998 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, argues that global climate change over the next century will stress and could transform the "essential character" of America's lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands if steps are not taken to prevent it. The report, Aquatic Ecosystems & Global Climate Change (44 pages, PDF), by N. LeRoy Poff, Mark M. Brinson, and John W. Day, Jr., predicts that global warming, left unchecked, will result in rising water temperatures and a shift in the thermal suitability of most aquatic habitats; create adverse seasonal shifts in stream runoff in western mountain ranges and the northern Plains; increase the melting and subsequent drying out of permafrost in boreal regions of Alaska and Canada; and cause coastal wetlands to be inundated by rising sea levels. The report — along with others in the Center's Environmental Impacts, Economics, Solutions, and Policy series — is available as a free download (requires Adobe Acrobat reader).